The government’s MOX project is mired in layers of limbo that could come to a head when a new federal budget year begins Oct. 1.
The facility designed to turn bomb-grade plutonium into commercial reactor fuel is midway through a budget-induced downsizing that could idle 500 workers.
The layoffs are being made to accommodate reductions in the U.S. Energy Department’s fiscal 2014 budget requests.
n addition to budget cuts, the Savannah River Site project also faces an uncertain future over rising costs that critics say could render the program unaffordable.
The MOX facility, about 60 percent complete, is the cornerstone of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nonproliferation plan and part of an important treaty with Russia.
That’s when the Energy Department announced plans to “assess alternatives” to MOX – a sign that critics believe could herald the abandonment of a facility where more than $4 billion has already been spent.